PComp Blog Post: Observing Public Interactive Tech

New York City is full of cutting-edge public technology, yet with every turnstile, gate, and revolving door, there seems to be one major element missing from its efficiency equation:  Efficiency!

The revolving door is one of the biggest offenders of all common public technologies that serve form over function a million times over.

Fundamentally, the revolving door should keep traffic flow constant and steady, but the problem is that No 2 humans move at the same pace!  Therefore there is no good automatic speed for the auto-revolving door (ie airport) to always be turning at, and multiple people inside a manual revolving door(ie subway entrance) results in constant awkward, uncomfortably-spaced entries.  Inevitably, SOMEONE will prefer to use the normal door next-door that says “use revolving door!”, just begging some brave soul to break its rule.

This whole revolving door+forbidden normal door thing…  It’s like a personality test.  “How will you handle the pass through?”  I personally ALWAYS opt for the regular, easy-access door, no matter what text is written on it (usually a firm “do not use this door!”)…  I had to see some normal-looking people go through the alarmed door at the subway exit when the revolving door traffic is too thick— I haven’t had the chance to do it myself yet, but now that I’ve seen the full loop of no-consquences of setting the alarm off combined with the experience of unsatisfying waits trying to go through the “primary” revolving door, I will jump at the chance to exit into the city through the alarmed door when the opportunity comes.

Categories: itp, pcomp

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